After courting controversy over a list of 51 women of child-bearing age entering Sabarimala temple, the Kerala government on 4 February informed the state Assembly that only two such women entered Sabarimala since the 28 September Supreme Court ruling, reports Times of India.
Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran, in response to an unstarred question, said that two women had offered prayers at the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple, according to a report by the temple executive officer.
On Sasikala, the 47-year-old Sri Lankan woman whose entry was earlier confirmed by the Chief Minister’s Office and the police, Surendran said he was awaiting a confirmation.
The Devaswom minister was responding to a question posed by Opposition Congress legislators on how many women in the age group of 10-50 years had offered prayers at the temple since the 28 September Supreme Court verdict.
The communist government in Kerala had filed an affidavit in the apex court on 18 January saying that 51 young women had entered the temple during the recently concluded mandalam-makaravilakku pilgrim season.
However, in response to another question, the minister claimed that the authority concerning the temple traditions and customs did not lie on the Thantri. He cited thje Devaswom manual, which says that whenever a violation in temple tradition occurs, it is for the Devaswom officers to hold talks with the head priest and take a final decision.
Last month, the Sabarimala temple thantri Kandaru Rajeevaru had closed the sanctum of the shrine for purification purposes after two women offered worship at the temple.
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